Fashion

Lady Gaga to star as Donatella Versace in American Crime Story

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Kayleigh Dray
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American Crime Story is, without a doubt, one of the best anthology television shows to air in a long time.

The first season focused on one of the most notorious murder trials of the 20th century for The People v. O. J. Simpson, and work has already begun on the show’s second season, Katrina, which is set to dramatise the events and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Now it has been revealed that the third season of American Crime Story will take a closer look at the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace – and that Lady Gaga will be starring as his sister, Donatella.



Versace was shot and killed outside his Miami Beach mansion on 15 July 1997 by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who was named one of the FBI’s Most Wanted after murdering at least five people over the span of a three-month killing spree.

Eight days after Versace’s death, Cunanan committed suicide with the same gun. To this day, his motives for the murder remain unclear; at the time, police famously told the public they “don’t know that we are ever going to know the answers”.

Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace

The role marks Gaga’s first appearance in American Crime Story, although she has previously worked with its creator, Ryan Murphy, on his award-winning show American Horror Story.

She was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Performance after her debut stint in the Hotel season of the horror anthology series, and has since gone on to appear as Scathach in the current Roanoke run – which has been lauded by critics as the best series yet.



Murphy previously hinted that Gaga would be playing Versace’s sister in the series, when it was suggested at LA’s Popfest that she would make the “perfect Donatella”.

And it seems to be an excellent casting choice – particularly as Gaga, who recently appeared on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, has a close friendship with the real-life Donatella. She fronted Versace’s Spring 2014 campaign and walked the Met Gala red carpet with her. The erstwhile Stefani Germanotta also showed her love for the designer with a special tribute track, titled Donatella, on her 2013 Artpop album.

Donatella Versace and Lady Gaga

Donatella Versace and Lady Gaga

Versace/Cunanan – which is based on Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favours  - is expected to go into production in early 2017. If all goes well, the 10-episode series should appear on our screens sometime in 2018.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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